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Poylio bridge letter 'nails it,' wins Golden Quill

Harold Poylio's letter of June 25 describing the pending demise of historic Cannon River Bottoms bridges created quite a stir.

REaders' Board discussed it in detail Monday. The buzz continued through the week at the Red Wing Collectors Convention, where society members quizzed keynote speaker Cathy Wurzer about her position on demolishing these bridges.

"That's a terrible thing," the author of "Tales of the Road: Highway 61" reportedly said.

Society members - many of them Red Wing history buffs - followed with comments like "They can't do that" and "Those bridges are still good."

Of all the letters the R-E published last month, Poylio's nailed it, REaders' Board member Jeff Marcus said. The letter included research, posed thought-provoking questions and called on the Red Wing City Council to reverse its 2008 decision on demolition.

"It's been bugging me since I found out about this thing last July," Poylio said. He's happy to report that a City Council member has since called to thank him for raising the issue.

The REaders Board also praised Poylio and awarded him the Golden Quill. His letter is reprinted below.

People can reach the bridges by turning off Highway 61 as if going into the Anderson Center/Tower View parking lot. Instead of going into the lot, turn left and head down the hill beyond Arrow Building Center. You'll find a parking lot that serves the Cannon Valley Trail. That's the south end of Cannon Bottom Road.

Public debates

REaders' Board members discussed three other public issues (and June letters related to them) at some length.

• They awarded honorable mention to "City needs summer recreation." Rachel Marshall spearheaded this letter published June 20 also signed by Janie Farrar, Shannon Hanson and Linda Thielbar.

Board members said they wouldn't have known about the loss without the letter.

They asked R-E staff to find out how much money the city saved by eliminating this program, which was a collaborative effort with the YMCA. We forwarded the question to City Hall and will publish the answer under "You asked ..." in a Tuesday edition.

• Citizens need more information about the Red Wing incinerator and its problems, including pollution and funding, board members said. They thanked Alan Muller for keeping the matter before the public. His letter ran June 28.

• People also need more information before the city proceeds with installing a fiber optic network, members said. They would like city staff to answer questions and address the risks that Don Mayo raised in his June 11 letter about this high-tech option for computer service.

REaders' Board members encourage you to join the public debate. Please share your views by writing a letter to the editor, submitting a question for "You asked ..." or suggesting topic for the R-E's weekly online poll. This page belongs to you.